Gigantino: All-Star effort for baseball's big game 

Fox’s Buck should allow McCarver more room

Fox gave one of its best production efforts in years with its telecast of baseball’s All-Star Game.

The red-carpet parade was a nice appetizer to the big event. The close-up camera shots, the interviews with dignitaries as well as players and the emotion of the gawking fans were superb. Big-time shots from the blimp gave the world a view of the Big Apple at its best.

¦ Another home run (ugh) was the player and Hall of Fame introductions. Joe Buck was the perfect in-stadium voice for this touching ceremony. If you didn’t have a tear in your eye, you don’t like baseball.

¦ Joe Buck and often-criticized partner Tim McCarver for the most part allowed the pictures of the game to tell the story. However, Buck at times tries to jam everything he knows into a broadcast. He needs to ask the old catcher more setup questions. 

In addition, Fox might want to go to a three-man booth next time, for a little variety. 

¦ Since I am a clothing expert, I hated the beige suit Buck wore and the contrast it had with McCarver’s deep, royal blue sports jacket. Couldn’t Fox afford to bring the wardrobe department to NYC?

I know some cheap hotels if they needed suggestions.

¦ The sold-out Home Run Derby proved that MLB has made a great comeback in the public eye.

Chris Berman, Joe Morgan and Steve Phillips excelled as the hosting trio. That being said, ESPN must re-evaluate its "sideline" reporters and dugout interviewers. Erin Andrews needs to take a deep breath before she goes on camera. I got dizzy watching her nervously move around during her interviews.

In addition, I got sicker and sicker each time she said "Thank you, Boom" and "Back to you, Boom." Obviously, that is her cutesy nickname for the great Chris Berman. As time moves forward in the TV world, I have come to disdain sideline reporters.

Packer had outspoken, unusual style

I am a huge Billy Packer fan.

When CBS announced his departure this week from their college-basketball announcing team, it saddened me. OK, I know the TV businessand nothing lasts forever, etc., but this guy was great. I loved the deep understanding and analysis he brought to the game.

This move has been in the works for a few years. Throughout the past decade, he has been forced by management to apologize privately and publicly to people and institutions that he had offended with less-than-sensitive remarks. However, anyone who can last 27 years in the same TV job as the lead analyst is doing something right.

Clark Kellogg, his replacement, is sharp, well-spoken and has a deep basketball background. However, he will not bring the entertainment value that the independently wealthy, outspoken, candid Billy Paczkowski (his birth name) brought to the booth with the straight-laced Jim Nantz.

One of the reasons Packer always said what was on his mind was because money and job security were never high on his list of priorities. I love the story of how years ago he hired a private eye [Magnum PI] to try to find the knife used in the O.J. Simpson murder case.

The best thing for Kellogg will be that he is going be sitting next to Nantz, who is the most versatile and well-respected play-by-play man in all of television. In reality, no one watches the Final Four tournaments because of the announcers.

NEWSMAKERS

GARY RADNICH

As if he needed more airtime, the popular TV-radio personality’s morning show on KNBR (680 AM) will be telecast on Comcast SportsNet West from 9 a.m. to noon. It will not be on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Radnich has been with KNBR for almost 17 years and sports director at KRON (Ch. 4) for more than 20 years.

BOB COSTAS

The venerable NBC host will guide viewers for the seventh time as the network’s primetime Olympics host, but with a little twist — he will be out and about quite a bit more. A spokesman for NBC, which will have 106 on-air announcers, said "Having your signature Olympics voice at the big events makes a lot of sense."

ONE TO WATCH

NEXT STEP? Can Rocco Mediate do it again? After losing a dramatic playoff to a gimpy Tiger Woods, Mediate surprisingly jumped out to the lead at the British Open in search of his first major victory. TNT began coverage at 3 a.m. today, but you can catch the finish on KGO (Ch. 7).

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college-football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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